Thursday, November 14, 2019

The grammar of racism

Stories and News No. 1179
 
Kone Yossodjo is nineteen years old and today he runs.
He runs for his country, the new one, Spain. Which is also new, at least faster, if not better, also thanks to him.
Five years ago, Kone was forced to run not for something, but from.
From his own country, the old one, the Ivory Coast. Which, past or present, will also be his land forever, perhaps poorer and less fast, but that’t not his fault. And when surviving involves running away from something, of which one is completely innocent, what will come out from that will be good, and so for everyone.
Today he is a future star of athletics, in the largest and most populous nation of the Iberian peninsula. In the last year he has won 5 races out of 11 and is currently the absolute champion of the 5000 meters in Andalusia. The most surprisingly thing, not even a year after arriving in Spain, after being arrested and then transferred to a center for minors, he began to show all his talent, propelled by a magical and special wind that the chair judges could not detect, like many people from the atrophied human senses.

It's called hope, period. Without looking up or down, ready to take everything that will be there on arrival, as long as it is there.
In short, now he runs for his land and no longer from it.
I believe it took years, hard work and pain, sacrifices and unspeakable difficulties. And yet, on the safe side of the finish line, where most of the time we watch in the stands with our thumbs fond of the upside down position, we could really make the difference in a much more immediate time and, definitely, with much less effort.
We could just make a mere lexical conversion. It would be enough to change articles, pronouns and prepositions, simple or articulated.
For example, every now and then, we could stop talking about migrants and start communicating with them. And if any one of them should inevitably become the topic of our speeches, we should begin to say something about him, not before doing the best we can to know his personal story, instead of hastily putting him inside the usual macro faceless and rights-less category that as a society we have invented one of our worst days.
At that point, it would be clear to everyone how absurd and even stupid it is trying explain our opinion about the immigrants, since ‘them’ would no longer exist, but an indefinite number of lives each one different from the other, where everybody has got load of experiences distinct from the others, just like those who claim to grind them all together in their heads, and then, a second later, issue a quick, summary judgment.
Maybe, with a good dose of optimism, we could hope that at the dawn of the new day, observing the umpteenth ship packed with people, apparently merged with each other in a botched painting, where the colour of the skin would be the only shade that the brush of our impoverished imagination has been able to recognize, we will start to correct the grammar of racism.
Because choosing to engage with someone who needs our help does not mean being against everyone else. And if not even the logical analysis succeeds in making it understandable, let's try with humanity.
Let's try again, again, and again. Because as long as the Kone’s of this world won't surrender, well, maybe we won't have to do it either.


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Saturday, October 26, 2019

30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with Storytellers for Peace

The next 9th of November will be the 30th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall.
Also today we see the rising of other walls to divide humanity, destroying dreams, breaking hopes and lives too.
Please, join us to listen our last video about the horrible walls between us, from the past until now.

Storytellers for Peace was born in June 2016. It is an international network of narrators who create collective stories through videos.
Artists come from all over the world and tell stories about peace, justice, equality and human rights.
All participants tell stories in their first language.
The final work is a multilingual storytelling video showing how much the world might be powerful, beautiful and peaceful when it is united on a good purpose.
The project was created and is coordinated by Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher, author, storyteller, stage actor and director.

In order of appearance:


Beatriz Montero, author and storyteller from Spain.

Barry Stewart Mann, professional storyteller, educator, actor and author from USA.

Katharina Ritter, author and storyteller from Germany.

Claus Strigel, filmmaker, producer and screenwriter from Germany.

Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher, founder and coordinator, author, playwright, storyteller, stage actor and director from Italy.

Sandra Burmeister G., author, actress, storyteller and theatrical pedagogist from Chile.

Hamid Barole Abdu, author, storyteller and poet from Eritrea.

Oriana Fiumicino, playwright, storyteller, stage actress and director from Italy.

Roberto Pentassuglia, guitarist from Italy.

Mahfuz Jewel, storyteller, journalist, poet and visual artist from Bangladesh.

Enrique Páez, author from Spain.

Cecilia Moreschi, author, playwright, stage actress and director from Italy.

Lisi Amondarain, storyteller from Argentine.

D.M.S. Ariyrathne, storyteller and actor from Sri Lanka.

Bridgid Soames, teacher from Australia.

Suzanne Sandow, director, actress and storyteller from Australia.

The video:




Storytellers for Peace:
Website: www.storytellersforpeace.com
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcxcR5hSFUgzpYhpIMfbAzA

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Thirty-nine

Stories and News No. 1178
 
The 39 people found dead on a truck in England on Wednesday, whose origin was unknown, were Chinese. Yes, now we know they are Chinese.

Thirty-nine.
Thirty-nine is a news, because numbers matter. The numbers are facts and no one can discuss or manipulate them.
But it depends, it is obvious and, every now and then, it must be remembered.
First of all, thirty-nine football players.
All champions, all outstanding athletes. It is the ranking of the best ones. Indeed, no, it is the whole favorite team, with all the new arrivals, especially the last one, the future star, who will take the place of the old captain in the dreams of the fans.
On the other hand, when you are thirty-nine years old you can't expect to run from door to door without blinking, that's it.
Next, the thirty-nine girlfriends of the stars on the field. The inevitable beauties that sparkle in the stadium’s chairs or that suddenly appear among the Instagram profiles of the husbands to steal subscribers and likes.
Then, what else? In no particular order, thirty-nine absences in a single month at the European parliament of the umpteenth politician who built his fortune by selling lies to tarnish the old continent.
After that, thirty-nine contenders at the new reality show, and only one will remain. Too bad, they are still too many. Couldn't we get rid of the junk all at once?
Again, the thirty-ninth version of your loved cell phone, which will have everything that was not there before, but less than the one they will force you to buy tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and so on.
It's important anyway, it is, take note, listen and don't get distracted, because then the system will interrogate you and you can't be caught unprepared on the popular lesson.
What? Thirty-nine inches? Are you kidding me? The TV is your horizon and it deserves space. Thirty-nine twice, you mean. You have to watch our programs in a big way, bigger and bigger, otherwise you realize what's outside the edges...
Consequently, as many as thirty-nine walls are being planned on our borders, the money has been allocated, the agreements established and the handshakes already sanctioned. Because it takes little to maintain the promises of fear. Courage needs time and we have little of it.
At most thirty-nine seconds, the maximum amount of attention you need to get every rash saturated with lies about the poor of this world, between a slice of social network board and a brief clip during an aperitif with friends.

Only thirty-nine, not even forty, to comment about life with a detached brain and a heart never connected, to howl their misery before the world's differences, whether it is from the stands rather than the window of a car, to bring to the square noise mixed with ignorance and the few become the people, or the entire population.
Because it is true that the numbers are facts and should not dispute, but it is only valid if you have at least a shred of idea on how many thirty-nine are.
Otherwise, even the most unpleasant of imaginable guy becomes able to convince the majority, that the few who support him are a lot.


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Thursday, October 17, 2019

The lion and the mosquitoes

Stories and News No. 1177
 
At home, on this planet, somewhere.

A man and his son meet again for dinner in the kitchen after their respective paths during the day, both fueled by an unshakable faith in the belief that however the day goes, at the end of the journey one will be there for the other.
Because that, forever, it is exactly what Hanna, wife and mother left behind, would have wished for, on the umpteenth travel towards the promised survival, even before the land.
Yohaness is ten years old and his eyes, of size and depth nourished by a burning desire for lightness, confirm that.
At the same time, however, the thick wrinkles that sometimes ruffle the forehead sound out of time with the necessary joviality on the face.
It is a real pity, but that is the price that is paid by those forced to experience the roughness of life ahead their natural trip. On the other hand, you can shell out this unfair toll in far worse ways.
"What’s up?" Ephrem asks his son. "You're particularly thoughtful tonight."
The child swallows another sip of soup and then, with a theatrical gesture, puts the spoon on the table.
Aware of the importance of the moment, the father does the same and leans on the back of the chair, widening his ears and heart, as if the former were directly connected with the latter.
"Today the teacher read us a fable by Aesop, a writer from ancient Greece."

"Beautiful. But why that face? Didn't you like it? "
"Yes, I liked it a lot."
"So what's wrong?"
"It’s what the teacher said immediately after."
"What she said?"
"She explained to us that fairy tales are very important and, although full of imagination and invented stuff, they teach us things that have to do with the every day reality, today too. Even if they were written a long time ago. We must listen carefully and think about it calmly, she added, to better understand what comes into our lives. "
"It's true, your teacher is absolutely right. What fable she read you? "
Yohaness's forehead is always furrowed, but his face becomes less tense, since he has got the umpteenth confirmation that his father is there, completely present at the usual evening appointment, before entrusting the helm of the ship to the deserved sleep.
"The mosquito and the lion, this is the title, I think."
"I don’t know it. Tell me about it."
With immense pleasure, it is the underlying answer.
"There is a mosquito that challenges the lion to show who is the strongest. When they do the duel, in front of all the other animals, the insect settles on the snout of the king of the forest and pricks it several times, while the lion does nothing but strike and injure itself, trying to drive it away. So the mosquito wins the challenge, but distracted by the joy of triumph it’s trapped by a spider web. It’s about to be attacked by the spider when the lion comes and saves it."
"Beautiful, really beautiful. It looks like one of our stories, when I was little kid as you..."
"Also the moral of the story is beautiful, dad. It teaches that you should not be too bold because, exactly when you convince yourself that you are invincible, you don’t see the small obstacles and you fall down."
"Right, I repeat, it's a beautiful fable. But then why are you so sad?"
"Because later I thought about it calmly and I’ve understood what comes into our lives. I mean, mine."
"Tell me everything, then. What did you understand?"
The priceless eyes mentioned above expand and become damp, a sign that there is something vulnerable at stake, as well as serious. As a result, Ephrem moves forward and brings his face closer to his son.
"I realized that we’re no longer lions. Maybe we used to be in Africa. Surely you was, dad. And mom too. But here we are something else, I am something else and I still have to understand what it is. But the mosquitoes... they are always the same, everywhere. Their buzz is the bad words and the hate looks with which they attack us every day. They never have the courage to challenge us alone, they always do it in so many. They also don't hit us on our nose but all over our body, outside and inside. Especially inside. Trying to protect ourselves often we hurt ourselves, that's what it's like in the fairy tale. Some of them fall down, but most don't and I think the spider has already given up."
Ephrem is deeply impressed by Yohaness's words and wonders if he has a vague idea of what a metaphor is, since he has just made one.
Now it is his look that widens his boundaries and he is moved. Because, metaphor or not, the child's words concern him personally exactly in the same way.
Ever since they lost Hanna they have never been so close, soul that touches soul, respective sensations that merge and horizon that becomes very common.
Read it also as our irrepressible story for the future.
"You know what, Yohaness?"
"What?"
"Even what you thought is like a fairy tale, to me. And as you did with Aesop, I also intend to think about it calmly and understand what comes into our lives, I mean mine. "
"Well done, daddy."
"But one thing I can tell you right now."
"What?"
"The fact that here you are something else, but you have not yet understood what it is, is your greatest strength."
"Why?"
"Because unlike the vile mosquitoes, the spiders that surrender, the old lions like me and all the others, the day will come when you’ll be everything you want, my son."


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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Of bricks and wars

Stories and News No. 1176
 
It's war. That is, there is war, because we are talking about it again.
But this does not mean that there was not already here.
Because peace has a price, so the silence of newspapers and parliaments all over the world. And, sorry, it is still called war too.
So let's go away, but only to come back soon, I promise.
Perhaps with a lighter heart, though filled to the brim, and less closed eyes.
Once upon a time, therefore, two children. Because that is what we are dealing with. An eternal and tireless child's play, but with very serious rules and often tragic consequences.
It is a particular pastime, though, since time insists to stop it, rather than facilitating its run, ending up trapping the hands of the human watch by doing the same with the wings we could open, if only we had believed Icarus's dream.
Anyway it is a brick game. Of cement, clay or plastic it makes no difference, although the latter has the further contraindication of pollution.
The very young challengers, just as ambitious and naive, have two perfectly contrasting roles.
We could call them in a lot of ways, but I hope ‘you’ and ‘I’ will make things easier and more understandable to most people. Well, it should be the first rule of a good storyteller.

In any case, this ancient entertainment begins according to the script.
You put two bricks between us, I distract you with a nice grimace and take one out.
You notice the shortcoming and add three more with an aggressive and peremptory gesture.
I stretch myself and then I start the characteristic dance of the convulsive forehead, an art conceived by the semi-unknown tribe of thought-harrowing thinkers.
You raise your head for a second and I take this opportunity to remove at least a couple of bricks.
Then I get a cramp on my imagination and I fall to the ground. You laugh at me and, at the same time, you guide your gaze on the playing field.
You count the bricks that are missing, you rant and threateningly put your hand to your stocks; then you place six bricks on the line that separates us.
"Wall!" You exclaim. "There is a wall between us."
"I see it," I note. "There is a wall and it was there before."
Exactly like the war of this short story’s incipit.
However, I do not desist. I can’t, I don't have to.
We cannot and we must not.
Because we are the only ones left there, on the most vulnerable side of the border.
So, I catch my breath, gather my strength and, above all, look for the courage inside of me.
But where did I put it? Oops, here it is, I see it there, hidden under noise and solitude.
Two other bricks, in some ways, very heavy, although elusive.
Courage, on the other hand, as opposed to what is told, is subtle and delicate.
The real one, I mean, is just a page, a trivial sheet of paper with some words of great value.
They describe one of the simplest and least respected memories. It regards what life is worth fighting for. They are few and could stay in the palm of your hand. Or a page, exactly like this one.
Therefore, once I recover the precious ingredient, I clear my voice and I sing. Yes, I sing at the top of my voice as long as the vocal tails will hold. And you, my friend, you can't help but listen to my tattered but passionate warblers.
Because what I'm trying to intone is not just my song, but ours. It is the soundtrack of the meeting that brings us one in front of the other, every day, from the very first one, until today.
It is the hymn of a victory and a defeat, of one or the other, at its worst.
At its best, it is when you decide to combine your voice with mine, even if only to show you are a better singer than me. And I am also willing to give you that, if it means peace.
We could be everything, we could discover all.
We could even grow and finally become adults.
If only we stopped wasting our time with this dull game.
Of bricks and wars...


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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Life and death of Raja

Stories and News No. 1175
 
Life, death and miracles.
We would all like to tell you about that.
About ourselves, possibly a distant day, at the end of our overrated existence.
More than ever about our children, but in real time of their maximum splendor.
When everything is still possible.
Too bad that miracles are so rare for the most unfortunate around the world, guilty only of being on the right place at the worst time.
That is why this brief story can only evoke life and death

of Raja, since her miracle would have been ‘surviving the bomb’.
Anyway, we could talk about life and death. So, let’s tell them both as if they were two distinct creatures.
Let's start with the most painful, so we immediately get rid of it.
Raja's death was born in 1997 in the United States, specifically in an ammunition plant in Milan, Tennessee.
The death of Raja has a complicated and difficult name to remember, like all the uncomfortable fragments of the past, from which, precisely because of our distraction, we do not learn anything.
In fact, Raja's death is called CBU-52 B/B. But behind the anonymous and apparently innocuous acronym, like the most dangerous pitfalls for the helpless souls of this planet, lies a horrible beast: cluster munition.
Nevertheless, if we seriously wish to reflect on the evil genealogical tree of this unacceptable story, we cannot avoid recalling that the aforementioned device has equally repugnant parents.
I am referring to the Nazi Germany.
We could go on by going back, ancestor after ancestor, on such an obtusely bloodline, however, but maybe I could spare you the unpleasant journey.
Raja's death has distant origins, where the most insane nature of the human being has fallen in love with its most cynical ambition for power. Affection corresponded as misrepresented in the most clamorous way, since what was between them was everything except love. And among the aberrations of that we can also include what happened on March 23, 2018, when a young girl was sheltered by a tree a few meters from home, trying to enjoy the well-deserved refreshment with her mother.
This is the day on which the aforementioned death came into the world, striking an entire family’s heart, after having fallen on the most tender and fragile fruit of the latter.
Raja's disappearance is what unreasonably remains, is what we brought to light and nurtured as if it were our daughter, instead of the real one.
At the same time, here is her brief existence.
Raja's life began on a Yemen farm in 2004 and lasted only fourteen years.
Raja's life is made up of every single happy instant she spent with Amira, her mother, and her father, who today is forced to share their bitter mourning with the world.
To tell the truth, with the due hindsight, all the other moments spent together, although less pleasant, are worthy of regret.
Because they have been lived with the innocent confidence of having so much time on the way.
Because Raja’s life is a unique flower deprived of its petals.
It is a butterfly with the gift of the present but with its wings cut off.
It is a beautiful fairy tale without a final and even less a moral.
It is a song written to never be sung and a tight embrace with wind and dust, with tight eyes and ancient tears to act as witnesses.
Here we are at the end, then.
This is the life of Raja and also her death.
But, perhaps, a miracle is still possible, although fueled by a very weak and remote hope.
That this latest, neglected and bitter, human story instilled once and for all the definitive doubt in most of you about who the monsters and the victims of the world really are.


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Thursday, September 26, 2019

About patriots, world heritage and future

Stories and News No. 1174
 
Listen.
Listen to me.
Listen and think carefully about the public speeches of the most famous leaders.
I am talking about the most quoted, shared, tagged or just trolled. The result is the same, nowadays, and you know it. The most important thing is that we talk about it.
So, take note of this: the future belongs to the patriots.
Yes, you heard fine and better understood, I hope.
Also keep this in mind: an extraordinarily unique place on the planet earth like the Amazon rainforest is not being devastated.
Exactly, their words are precisely these.
Consequently, consistently on this trail, let's stop once and for all with thinking and acting collectively and collaboratively.
Enough with trying to unite and mediate, meet halfway and look for common points with which to compensate and, above all, minimize the conflicting differences.
All of that belongs to the past.



The future is on the wall, my sovereign friend.
Friend
Who are you?!
Let’s say just sovereign, period.
In any case, you should know that the new dawn will be only for us, the private garden’s guardians.
Only mixing exclusively among blood relatives we will...
No, wait, this is too much, we have not yet reached this point. But we will get there, you will see.
In the meantime, I am referring to citizens proven by the sacred regulatory paper attesting of belonging to the same nation.
Unless the continuous lines on the geopolitical map will be distorted, that is clear.
In this case, to anticipate possible contradictions, go back to point one, but stay on a generic field: the future belongs to us.
Us who? You could ask. And if you do, it means that you are one of those. Therefore, give me your passport or any kind of residence permit. Then let's see if you are still talking.
On the contrary, rejoice.
Because we will survive.
Thanks to a little word: no.
The art of denial is our most powerful weapon.
The Amazon forest is not being devastated, as I said at the beginning.
But there is more.
The earth's temperature is not increasing.
Glaciers are not melting.
The sea level is not rising.
Water is not ending.
The desertification of the planet is not happening at all.
Well, now don't bring up your studies, because it's easy to talk when you read books, you find important documents and proven information, learning more about the topics and foreign languages, making cultural journeys, visiting historical places and talking to people different from you.
The real world, where real people live, is ours, inside the difficult life of those who have understood everything by staying at home incessantly glued to the monitor typing always the same short word: no.
It's not like you say.
Things are not as complex as you think.
There is no reason to worry.
Neither about the scorching climate nor the dying forests.
Because it is not our truth that burns, but yours.
It is not worth it, ultimately, to shift the focus from yourself to anyone.
In any case, if you wished to stop our walk and replace us, well, given how high we have come to make ourselves heard, in the future you must do something more and better than just write and scream water is insufficient, icebergs are melting and oceans are rising...


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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Contradictions

Stories and News No. 1173
 
Once upon a time the age of contradictions.
I am talking about our time, these days.
In other words, superficially generalizing, we could also claim to live in the age of global people’s migration, relying on the inevitable subject in the middle of political confrontation.
However, it could also be the terrorism topic, an equally abused one as a touchstone for the alleged reliability of the aspiring government leader.
Do you remember when the future rulers had to solve problems, guarantee progress and above all give work?
Today, as long as they give security, or the illusion of the latter, well, half of the chair is already occupied.
We could also declare that we live in the period in which climate change is the priority inside the international discussion.
We could say this and that, however, in my humble opinion, the contradiction is what most defines today's society.
Take for example the recent survey conducted by the British group Hope not Hate on a sample of more than a thousand people between the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Brazil, France, Poland, USA and Italy.
The main questions related to the aforementioned climate changes and the results are particularly interesting, especially with regard to my country.
In fact, we, Italians, are at the first place among those

questioned, among those who strongly agree that the world faces a climatic emergency, that global warming will soon become extremely dangerous without a big cut in emissions, and that the time to save the planet it's running out.
You know who's on the second? Bolsonaro's Brazil...
Ergo, contradictions.
That is, immigration, terrorism and climate change.
As if they were disjointed phenomena, which could be faced separately, through an obtuse fragmentation of the intellect and personal sensitivity.
As if we ourselves were truly worthy of meaning in the general picture, where the interests and reasons of the individual were considered priority over those of all.
So here is what happens, often, in electoral disputes, as in bar fights, or better, in the most current social network bulletin boards.
There are copious arguments and often insults, leaping from one subject to another, sheltered by a very dull solution of continuity.
A kind of wall, used once again to obscure the understanding of things, as well as to hinder travelers' journey.
Because perhaps, opening precious loopholes within it, we could reflect on the fact that according to the United Nations by 2050 there will be between twenty-five million up to a billion people forced to leave their country because of climate change.
Then, insisting on this virtuous habit, we could consider how much the terrorist groups profit from the crisis and poverty due to military and civil conflicts, but exacerbated and made unsustainable by drought and famine caused by climatic upheaval.
Once upon a time, therefore, the era of migrants and terrorists, as well as the crazy and destructive climate.
In a word, the time of contradictions.
That is, of a humanity that has the only chance to survive inside the ability in overcoming them by combining the obvious dots that bind together the most compelling questions.


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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Brothers of what remains in the world

Stories and News No. 1172
 
This is what happens today, in particular.
This is also what has been happening for some time, along the border between what is beautiful within the word ‘humanity’ and the mad as the dull contradiction of the latter.
It is a narrow line that oppresses the heart and soul as well as the intellect. It is a promised land and at the same time a prison in which we all deceive ourselves of living as the elected ones, as if the handcuffs that bind the neighbor, even just a breath away from us, do not hold our wrists too.
Well, in detail, inside a station in Foggia, Italy, some people were fined for having offered, without the authenticated train ticket, warm milk and precious blankets to some homelesses.
€ 16.67, can you understand?
This is the price of guilt, in the place where some go, others arrive.
This is the defect of a voluntary act, blamable of solidarity.

This is the measure with which the current legislation takes its distance from those who choose to obey the reasonableness of their conscience instead of the incoherence of the citizens' constraints.
Yet the law is the law, there is no doubt about that.
It is what, in the long run, guarantees balance and sometimes quiet living to the multitudes that in ever-increasing numbers insist on occupying the same space.
Which, like it or not, resembles every day with greater precision to the aforementioned border. Maybe the day will come when, mortifying the hopes of creatures, only apparently naiver than us, to reach the dreamed horizon, we will discover that unlike them we have been satisfied living only on the edge of that marvelous picture.
Read us all as the people of the frame, since the painting inside was burned to not allow others to reach it.
Nevertheless, it must be reiterated that the written rule among the people has an impeccable value.
However, where the intentional consistency in our civil life is reduced to the mere instrument to tax every literal encroachment, when we will reach the extremity of such a purpose, we will divide the world into two antagonistic and alternative parts, such as water and oil.
On the one hand the guardians of the aforementioned limit and on the other what remains in the world trying to overcome it, obviously without the necessary ticket.
It is evident that we will not be able to survive for long, forced into such a delirious allegory.
The human brain, if not the heart, must necessarily offer solutions to the accident called life.
Because it is inevitable that the love for the latter leads us to contradict the conventions on which we have built stations, buildings, roads and of course walls and ports.
On the other hand, since the entire universe exists, life, I repeat, and affection for the latter, overcome the limits of nature itself every day, at any moment.
How could we expect them not to do it even with those established by men?
However, in the absurd eventuality one claims such a megalomaniac right, however legalized, how can we to think of being able to sanction the mere existence?
Can you be guilty of birth?
And survival?
Well, in the same way, it is equally foolish to hinder the path of those who, with their bodies, become air and water, food and heat to help the poor of the earth.
Regardless of which law required it.
Because it would be like punishing the air itself, as well as water, food and heat.
In a word, life...


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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Plastic age

Stories and News No. 1171
 
Recent research has found that plastic pollution contaminates the earth's fossils with exponential growth since 1945.
As a result, after the Bronze and Iron Age, scientists suggest to define the current period in which we live as the Plastic Age.
That's why this is just another story, but a plastic one.
Once upon a time, there was a world of plastic. I mean our planet, but you may pretend it's someone else's.
On the other hand, that’s the most common human habit, nowadays. I’m talking about the one that sees us punctually devoted to pass all our others.
However, what’s the problem?
This is a plastic tale, so the life we have built in it, as well the inhabitants we’ve become.
Plastic citizens, with all the advantages.
Because the inhabitants of plastic like to bend, to genuflect before the strong chief on duty.
Never breaking is considered a good thing, even if it’s a shame to not break up in pieces for good, from time to time.
While broken we can rebuild, maybe reinvent ourselves.
We could still change and improve.
The best hope is to survive, without ever aspiring to anything more.
Nevertheless, the real problem of plastic humanity is to see others’ life as plastic stuff in general.
We get drunk and replete without restraint and then we could wash our conscience by recycling.
However, not all plastic creatures have surrendered to that, you know?
Many, most, have not signed for this.
This is what they say at the very beginning of the journey and it’s what they have dreamed too many times between tears in a corner of their own life and a mad scream in the darkness of the room.
To them surviving could be a necessity, perhaps the only chance, but never a free choice.
They don’t bow before destiny and often, after a shipwreck, increase their weight beyond nature by embracing each another, going down relentlessly at the bottom of the sea, instead of floating like the lucky bathers who steal the sun from the sky without deserving it.
Because there are many kinds of plastic, and those who find it in the flowing blood and in the air that flows in the lungs, without ever having wanted it, they prefer rather to melt like plastic in the presence of that same sun.
Everything but believing that the increasing heat of its rays is something normal.
Anyway, don't worry. I’m not so naive to believe that a plastic story could change things.
Especially in a society where the rhythm of mutual love and of every feeling that is able to unite us is marked by plastic hearts. Furthermore, if the main organ that makes us alive is such, as well will be brain and soul.
We communicate emotions and thoughts with plastic words. So, everything may be said and taken back within a minute, recycled the next day and a moment later mixed with every kind of nothing as if it were something.
Because this is the deception from plastic and those who are made of it.
It can become anything, just using the right color and the most fashionable shape. Those who, penalized at birth, or lacking sufficient wealth, cannot afford such winning combinations.
On the other hand, the entertainment world will always need new extras and as well plastic spectators.
They cost little, often nothing, and if they do not do the required work, they are easily replaceable.
The coordinates to reach them are out there, or there behind, in the market below, sheltered from the equally plastic surface of sticky social networks. And it takes little to hire them. It is enough to know how to conceive light sentences, elementary phrases and extremely simple thoughts that even a puppet could share them.
I mean plastic slogans in which nothing is serious, nothing is real, or true, but it seems so. And you can make them yours, to share them with peers and shout with impunity in the face of those you hate, regardless of whether the hatred is founded or not.
Well, this is a story that has no happy ending, I'm sorry about that.
The past fairy tales, like humans made of flesh, they aged, perished and nourished the earth to become other stories, perhaps better inside the memories and in the lives of others.
In those like this one the ending moral is that in the morning, after the last page, one and only one thing will really survive.
Plastic…



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Thursday, July 11, 2019

The lost pages

Stories and News No. 1170
 
This story comes from an afternoon of few months ago.
I was late and I was in a hurry. When that happens I tend to bend my head down, on the sidewalk, prompted to do so by the fear of stumbling or, at worst, falling.
I never liked hurry and, since I can remember, I try to move from home in time, so that I can enjoy the beauty of every journey.
Read also that as the many gifts that await us along the travel between the departure and the arrival.
Well, that day, I began to notice some book pages on the ground.
They were scattered one after the other, some I noticed under a parked car and others ended up in a bush.
I took a handful of seconds to look at one up close. I crouched and saw that the paper was yellowed, then aged.
I didn't know the title of the novel, but it's not important here. That is, it is immensely, but to me, I keep it for myself, I hope you don't mind.
On the contrary, I would like to share with you where the thoughts on those lost pages led me.
Torn and then thrown away, who knows when, by whom and more than ever why.
The first thing I thought was that, if I hadn't looked down at that moment, I would never have noticed their presence.
Usually, when I walk on the street, my eyes wander frantically on my fellows and all living beings almost always earn my utmost attention.
It would have been a pity, in my humble opinion, since in this way I would have missed the stimulating fantasizing about who the mysterious person and his reasons are in getting rid of a whole book, piece by piece, word by word.

Consequently, I found myself wondering if this observation did not conceal a greater depth, perhaps with a further general value and, as the days went by, I realized that the answer was affirmative.
The metaphor is clear and probably is able to exhaustively describe what is happening to us all, in these frantic and confused times.
The only difference is that hurry was my favorable counselor, or messenger of a forgotten tale left behind by invisible protagonists.
Nevertheless, it’s an exception to the rule that sees calm and nonchalance towards other people's worries to allow us to see the wonders beyond the boundaries of the viral realm.
Every day the burning anxiety and the blind ambition of being able to be part of the latter at all costs is keeping us away from a lots of other forgotten pages.
Sometimes they are stories, or as in the above case, just fragments.
They are often real human beings whose weight in the privileged plot is so evanescent that in order to observe them with the right sharpness we need such a wide gaze we could use only with the help of all the effort and time from our distracted heart.
Many times, beyond the sacred confines of the artificial horizon that we are obsessed with, there are also shreds of ourselves.
All the memories that we have mistakenly considered trivial.
Those whom we have branded in the same way, guilty of having only touched us for a fleeting moment.
But above all, the fragile baggage of dreams and hopes that we too soon dismissed as childish or even dangerous.
Well, let it be due to haste rather than calm, I hope that you, too, will have the luck to find once in a while your lost pages...


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